Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.

Miscellaneous Entries. whereby (= by means of which), though sometimes overworked, is more concise than alternatives such as “through which.” So it can be a useful word — e.g.: “Republican Congressman Ralph Regula of Ohio, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee in charge of federal parks, is brokering a deal whereby Congress will appropriate $5 million and give it to California, which will in turn give it to the Reagans for the 100-year-old adobe house and grounds they paid $480,000 for in 1974.” Margaret Carlson, “Lake Lucky, Here We Come!” Time, 29 Sept. 1997, at 19. whimsy (= fanciful or capricious humor) is the preferred spelling. *”Whimsey” is a variant. whir, n. & vb., is the standard spelling. *”Whirr” is a variant for both parts of speech. But the inflected forms, naturally, are “whirred” and “whirring.” whisky; whiskey. If the liquor originated in Scotland, it’s “whisky.” If it originated in the United States, it’s “whiskey.” To write *”Scotch whiskey” is a serious gaffe in the eyes of a Scot. Whitsunday; Whit Sunday; *Whitsun Day; Whitsuntide. The first three denote the seventh Sunday after Easter, on which the Christian festival of Pentecost is celebrated, commemorating the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the apostles. “Whitsunday” is the usual spelling in American English, “Whit Sunday” in British English. “Whitsuntide” is either the full week beginning with Whitsunday or the first three days of that week. *Invariably inferior form. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “A close reasoner and a good writer in general may be known by his pertinent use of connectives.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 15 May 1833, in 6 Complete Works 467 (W.G.T. Shedd ed., 1844).
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